Get Your Free 2019 Vacation Guide

Download your free guide or request a copy by mail below, and start planning your one-of-a-kind South Carolina adventure today.

Vacation Guide Cover
View Our Other Guides

Introducing Chef Forrest Parker

Libby Wiersema Libby Wiersema
Libby Wiersema lived in California and Alabama before settling in South Carolina 30 years ago, where she's covered the state's best culinary offerings and tells the stories behind the food.
More from "Libby Wiersema"

Chef Forrest Parker is a visionary who calls upon the culture, history and flavor traditions of South Carolina to create a heritage-infused, yet modern dining experience. Parker recently departed his latest venture, the Charleston restaurant, Revival and is looking for his next kitchen to helm.  His innovative dishes, encyclopedic knowledge of South Carolina's culinary roots and commitment to championing the work of heritage food producers led to his being named a South Carolina Chef Ambassador in 2016.

 

Approach

Chef Forrest Parker is a visionary with a reputation for calling upon the culture, history and flavor traditions of South Carolina to create heritage-infused, yet modern dining experiences. Parker recently departed the Charleston restaurant, Revival, to found Undiscovered Charleston, a food tour venture that marries his vast historical knowledge with his culinary expertise. Led by Parker, a licensed Charleston tour guide, participants take a walking tour of the city, observe a cooking demonstration and end the excursion with a Lowcountry lunch. Parker’s innovative dishes, encyclopedic knowledge of South Carolina's culinary roots and commitment to championing the work of heritage food producers led to his being named a South Carolina Chef Ambassador in 2016

"As a chef, I draw heavily from a culturally rich Lowcountry history," Parker said. "Our dishes reflect the taste of time and place."

Backstory

Parker was born and raised in the Upstate, leaving his hometown of Anderson to attend College of Charleston. Like many students living in the food-centric city, he worked part-time in local restaurants and even became a licensed tour guide to supplement his income. In a fateful move, he accepted a position on the team of legendary James Beard chef Louis Osteen, who was opening a new dining enterprise.

"To be on the opening team of that restaurant as a young culinarian was such a formative experience," he said. "To work under Louis Osteen changed the course of my life."

Under the guidance of Osteen, Parker hustled and honed his cooking skills, eventually acquiring an expertise that landed him at the helm of kitchens in Minneapolis and Opryland in Nashville. When his wife's career brought them back to Charleston, Parker's culinary interests focused on the emerging local trend toward heirloom foods. Through his time as executive chef at Old Village Post House in Mount Pleasant, he found yet another iconic mentor in Chef Frank Lee, who worked for the restaurant's parent company and encouraged Parker's exploration of heirloom products. Soon, Parker was developing dishes that won him rave reviews from discriminating diners and food critics. In 2016, he assumed the lead kitchen role at the Drawing Room at the Vendue Inn. A year later, that restaurant closed to make way for Parker's concept for Revival, which opened after much anticipation in the summer of 2017.

Libby Wiersema
Libby Wiersema lived in California and Alabama before settling in South Carolina 30 years ago, where she's covered the state's best culinary offerings and tells the stories behind the food.